View Full Version : Paraffin dipping boxes

02-20-2003, 06:31 PM
This kinda goes along with the painting thread, but has anyone any experience with using paraffin to coat their boxes instead of painting. I read an article in one of the bee mags about this practice used by a commercial beekeeper. I would like the recipe, I know there was another ingredient used but can't remember, and can't find the article.


02-20-2003, 06:43 PM
manlake ltd sells paraffin wax and gum rosin for dipping hives 1 800 8807694 www.manlakeltd.com (http://www.manlakeltd.com)

02-20-2003, 11:38 PM
Hi there. I know the article you are talking about it is from the Feb 2002 ABJ page 106 and info is from the woodworth Honey and Bee company in North Dakota.

we cook the wood in paraffin, we heat the parafin to 260 deg and leave each box in the paraffin for 7 to 8 minutes. During that time the parraffin cooks all of the air and water out of the wood, and cooks the paraffin into the wood. For this to work the paraffin must be at least 240 degress F.

It didn't say about adding anything to it. I thought about trying this myself. I am just curious were to buy bulk parafin in large quantity and also what to heat it in. Hope this helps.

Michael Bush
02-21-2003, 05:38 AM
I'm curious where you get a tank large enough to dip a whole box in and how do you heat it?

02-21-2003, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the info. Yes, that was the info I was looking for. On the question as to what to "cook" the boxes in, I have 2 oversized 55 gallon like drums, and an oversized propane heating unit, that I will use. I will cut the drums down a bit to act as a double boiler. I suspect that a local tinsmith or welding shop could proabbaly make a vat, and by the use of a couple of those turkey cookers, I think one would have
pretty much the same thing, but would question if those cookers could get a vat that large hot enough.


Brandon Shaw
02-21-2003, 05:17 PM
Maybe using cinder blocks, and firewood would be an alternative heating source? If anyone is interested in tanks for a project like this, I have a couple of old kerosene tanks that are oval shaped and on legs. I would love to get rid them. Theese would be ideal for something of this nature.

02-22-2003, 09:15 AM
I have used 55 gallon drums to boil used equipment before I scorch the inside just to be sure. If you use a 55 gallon drum cut it about 4 inches about the last rib or it will be to shallow to submerge the whole box. I also used wood to fire the boiler and it worked very well. I was going to use Peanut oil and get it up to 350 so I did not have to scorch but was afaid of a flare up. The paraffin sounds like a good idea.

02-22-2003, 12:56 PM
I have thought about building a tank to treet the boxes but what I think about is FIRE and melted Parrfin this could bee very dangrous! the ideal thing would be steam but now many BKs have a steam boiler so the safest way would be electric any Ideas?

02-22-2003, 06:08 PM
I know Kellys immersion heaters can go up too 250 degress. I think some form of immersion heater would be the way to go. Does anyone know what Dadants heaters go up too? I don't think that I would want any open flame around all that paraffin. If any wax would hit the flame while you are taking boxes out you might get into trouble.

Michael Bush
02-23-2003, 06:55 AM
That's been my problem. You could use a lamb waterer over an open fire and it would be big enough and cheap enough, but the open fire is not a nice thought when mixed with a large pot of hot wax and a lot of dipping and sloshing.

02-23-2003, 02:04 PM
Why not use an old electric stove OUTSIDE for a heat source? Just change the plug to fit your wielder plug-in or install dryer connections.
I have had large rectangular aluminum pans made for food preperation at schools and commercial uses that would be large enough. I would try commercial food equipment stores as a source.
Two questions I have;
Does the wood try to float?
Is it absolutely necessary to use a double boiler?

02-25-2003, 11:10 PM
I picked up some used hive boxes last year, took a 55gal drum and cut the bottom 1/3 off and set it on one of those propane burners to deep fry turkeys. put in one hive body and boiled it for 15 min. Had to set a few brickes on it to keep it from floating. always had some wax floating on top and popolis too .I did this thinking it would help sterilize them.Does this get rid of anything? or was I just making hive soup?

mark williams
02-26-2003, 05:49 AM
Scott, in theaugust issue of the american bee journal pg.581 it talk's about boiling hive bodies & frames in lye water.it said boiling alone is inadequate in breakdown the spore's of american foulbrood.

02-26-2003, 07:21 PM
Hi again everyone. Does anyone know where you can get the paraffin in bulk with reasonable cost??

Michael Bush
02-27-2003, 05:32 AM
I haven't shopped around for price, but Mann Lake has it and so do other bee suppliers.

Brandon Shaw
02-01-2004, 10:25 AM
Ok, I finally read the article mentioned.
I love how the super that was treated with parrafin looks! I know the other photos are not in color, and the boxes don't look as pretty. Does anyone know if the boxes get a "dirty" look to them?